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Keynote speaker: looking back on a big life and business lessons

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It’s always a thrill to be invited as a keynote speaker, and for me, that invitation from the Women’s Network of Australia was no exception. Janelle Bostock, the CEO, wanted me up in Brisbane to address their boardroom lunch in November, 2018, and this is what I talked about. Some life on the tools, some…

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Chef stress and burn out: solutions

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Chef stress and burnout? Here’s an article by Rachael Smith, who writes for the Restaurant and Caterers’ Association Magazine. Rachael interviewed me last year, and led the piece with my concerns for the industry and why I was setting up the Hotplate website.  Hope you enjoy.   A good article that nails a lot of…

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Why I am no longer a food critic

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Be a food critic? Why not? It was a great idea at the time. I leapt 2 years ago, after 25 years as an owner/chef of 10 restaurants, then a stint being a journalist, lifestyle editor and executive chef for a large food market chain. I also had a stint teaching (started out many years…

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Chef talk: Straight to the Source with Tawnya Bahr

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With growing business Straight To The Source firmly under her belt, Tawnya Bahr continues to uncover new opportunities and ways of providing that all important link between producers and market. It’s that paddock to plate connection with food’s provenance that has become vital to any decent restaurant these days. Providing that link is her mission, and…

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Chef talk: Hilton Port Moresby beckoned

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The new Hilton Port Moresby was opening, and Paul Foreman, Consultant chef and Black Box Kitchen king, and Kirsten Bacon, pastry chef and teacher at Elizabeth College, have just returned from a gig in Papua New Guinea.  Was it wild? “Yeah!” Was it rewarding? “Double yeah!”  This was a big gig, and included so many…

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Success for Off the Hotplate’s Happy Workplace Course.

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Our Happy Workplace Course made a difference! The results are in: Industry Link (Tasmania’s top award winning Registered Training Organisation) commissioned our course for their latest intake of hospitality trainees and what happened? For the first time ever, they had not one drop out from the course. The secret? Our course, delivered by Graham Gourlay…

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Chef talk: After Lûmé, Shaun Quade lights up L.A.

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It takes guts and faith to launch a new venture in a foreign country, a new market. Shaun Quade, his name now intimately tied to Lûmé, a leader in the Australian restaurant firmament, has both, in spades. When a lot of chefs would be settling in for an easier long haul, established and ticking along,…

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Chef talk: Graeham Henderson – pirate chefs need to rethink

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Graeham Henderson is smack bang in the middle of a big career. So in his interview, we looked both backwards and forwards. It’s an exciting time for him with big challenges, but if anyone is up to it, it’s Graeham. And he absolutely nails the issues the industry is facing, and the why. Beautifully. So…

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Chef talk: Jeff Lewis – chef trainer

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Jeff Lewis has had a huge chef’s life, been smacked and abused, but not put in a tumble dryer as one young apprentice was recently in France. Now, a chef trainer, Jeff devotes his life and experience to teaching the young wannabe’s and making sure they’ve got the skills to back the paper qualification. He’s also…

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The abusive boss: the upside to those dark clouds

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The Upside to Being Screamed at, All the Time, for Everything Life’s a learning curve, right? Then why does it take so long for us to learn some lessons? An abusive boss can be hell on earth, particularly if you’re young, wanting to please, and terrified of rocking the boat. Quit? Hell, where would I…

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